Central Texas Writers Society participates in worldwide event
By BRITTANY FHOLER
The Central Texas Writers Society held 100,000 Poets, Writers and Artists for Change at the Copperas Cove Public Library on Saturday.
The event, which ran from 10:00 a.m. until 2 p.m., was part of a worldwide event held in 100 different countries, where writers and artists shared poems and works about topics such as peace, change, equality, justice and sustainability. This is the first time that the Central Texas Writers Society held its version of the event, according to the president and founder of the organization, Nicole Metts.
On Saturday, there was a free yoga session at the beginning. People signed up to read poems and share their thoughts. There was a table where participants could paint rocks, manned by Linda Lapierre of the Five Hills Art Guild, and another where they could get their faces painted. One table provided information on recycling and water conservation and other sustainability tips. There was also a table where David Hardin, vice president of the organization, started a story and participants could add sentences to continue the story, which would then be read from start to finish at the end.
Metts said she thought the group was great because it encourages each of the members to write before they meet up. She said the event and the sharing of poetry makes people think.
“To me, the arts allow people to express how they feel and people have more patience when it’s an art,” Metts said. “They can get their perspective across easier that way rather than just trying to have a conversation. I mean, to me, it’s essential for everyone to get some experience in the arts. I think it’s good for your soul.”
One of the participants was Mikey Carlie, who shared several of his poems and described the four paintings of his that were on display, including one representing the first day of Creation and one representing Mother Earth. Carlie referenced the recent natural disasters that have occurred.
“Nature doesn’t care about the color of your skin,” he said. “To nature, everything is valuable.”
Carlie explained that most of his material is “on the earth side” and about the Earth. Carlie also read some of his poems, including one he wrote after seeing two bees fight over a flower he was about to pick, he said.
Carlie also shared advice for fellow artists to stop and spend five minutes talking with a stranger, because artists have a different perspective than others around them.
An artist’s purpose is “to make sure that many things are not forgotten, but that there is happiness,” Carlie said.
Their main superpower is a “piece of creation and understanding how it works and being able to help open minds that do not comprehend,” he added.
Another poet was Forressa Harrison, who owns Poetic Sweet Spot located at 5812 S. WS. Young Dr in Killeen. Harrison shared part of a poem called “Baby Brother” that she wrote about her brother and about her worries of him being a black man in today’s society. Harrison moved onto the next poem without finishing “Baby Brother”, saying that she got emotional. She read two poems written by her friend Brent C. Green from his book “Protested Love.”
Harrison said she thought the event was fun and that it could definitely grow.
“What I like is different people, nationalities, races coming together and really talking about change,” Harrison said. “There’s some tough issues that are going on in the world and for all of us to be able to be in the room and be able to talk about them without malice or judgement, it’s like ‘Oh!’ We need this type of event, we need more events like this.”
Harrison said her passions are art, children and writing. At Poetic Sweet Spot, they have poetry slams, which are competitions, as well as Open Mic nights. She said she goes into schools and helps kids realize what they can do with poetry and writing.
“Words are so powerful. My mom used to say, ‘If it ain’t written down, it don’t exist,’” Harrison said. “I believe that. Whether it’s your dreams, goals, what you love, what you don’t love, if it’s not on paper, it didn’t exist. Nobody knows it happened. You’ll be dead and gone and no one will know it happened.”
Harrison said she thinks everyone should write, even those who don’t consider themselves writers. She added that’s why this event is important, because it gives people a chance to share what they’ve written or what others have written.
The Central Texas Writers Society meets the second Thursday of every month in the Copperas Cove Public Library. They also have open mic nights at Lil Tex Restaurant in Copperas Cove, with their next one being October 27 at 8 p.m.